A Confusing Monday for the Senate Climate Bill

There was a flurry of talk about climate & energy in the Senate today. But was it all just hot air?

It started when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) told reporters that a price on carbon pollution might not be a part of the proposal that arrives on the Senate floor next month.

Jeremy Symons, senior vice president of the National Wildlife Federation, quickly made it crystal clear that conservationists won’t settle for a bill that doesn’t make polluters pay for their pollution:

If Senate Democrats are preparing to cave in to Big Oil, then they haven’t been paying attention to the lessons of the BP disaster. Real energy reform must hold corporations accountable for their carbon pollution in order for America to break our dependency on oil and turn the corner toward a clean energy future

By Monday afternoon, Sen. Schumer’s office had issued a clarifying statement:

“To the senator’s knowledge, no decisions have been made yet on the floor strategy for legislation addressing the nation’s urgent energy challenges, nor is it his decision to make,” said Schumer spokesman Brian Fallon.

“Senator Schumer speculated on one procedural option, but make no mistake: he believes climate change legislation is vital to our nation’s energy security and looks forward to voting for it. He is working with his colleagues to get the strongest, most comprehensive bill possible and looks forward to discussions with the rest of the leadership later this week on how to best move forward,” Fallon added.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to meet with the chairmen of committees with jurisdiction over energy and climate on Thursday. Reid plans to bring an energy package to the floor in July.

Tell your Senators that now’s not the time to cave in to Big Oil. Please take a moment to email them the message that we need a price on climate pollution now.

Photo via Flickr’s alex-s